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Google Threatened Bartender Over Lost Top-Secret Phone

If you work for Apple or Google, it is probably not a good idea to leave your experimental new phone at a bar. That’s what happened to a Google employee and the company sent their security to “threaten” the bartender who found and kept the phone. According to the Daily Mail:

Jamin Barton says a security officer for Google, who had previously been a special agent for the State Department, harassed him and repeatedly threatened him with arrest if he didn’t turn over the Nexus 4 — a new phone that the company has yet to release publicly.

It’s a story that has played out before: An employee of a major tech company leaves behind a prototype of a new phone at a bar. The company then throws its legal weight into trying to keep the details of the device a secret.

In 2010, Brian Hogan found an iPhone 4 prototype that an Apple employee left at a San Fransisco bar and sold it to a tech site for $5,000. He and a friend were both charged with theft after Apple claimed the device was stolen.

Mr Barton didn’t realize what he had until he showed it to a tech-savvy friend. It’s common for people to leave their phones at his bar, the 500 Club,¬†Wired¬†magazine reports.

Barton did give the phone back, but sold pictures of the device to Wired. It probably could have been handled better on both sides, but in the cell phone battle I can understand why Google was so demanding. Though the PR for them won’t be pretty.

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